On & Around the Street

The Perfect Staycation in Chelsea

With the unique set of quandaries that are part of travelling abroad this summer, now is the perfect time to fall in love with Chelsea.

London is at its most lovely in the summertime and, now that shops, restaurants and hotels are open again, as well as some of the neighbourhood’s beloved museums and attractions, we have put together a guide to the perfect Chelsea staycation.

From picnic on the temporarily open running track in front of the Saatchi Gallery to explorations through the Chelsea Physic Garden and the artisanal food producers on Pavilion Road, which has been pedestrianised, here’s how to have the perfect staycation in the heart of London’s most romantic neighbourhood, Chelsea.

WHERE TO STAY

The Belmond Cadogan Hotel

Belmond Cadogan Hotel

75 Sloane St, SW1X 9SG

The historic Cadogan Hotel was built in 1887 and played an integral role in Chelsea’s social history. This was the scene of Oscar Wilde’s notorious 1895 arrest, an incident which inspired Sir John Betjeman’s poem, ‘The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel’.

After undergoing a five-year, £39-million renovation under the scrupulous eye of luxury hotel group Belmond, it reopened in 2019 as an establishment worthy of its colourful past, with impeccably stylish rooms, a restaurant run by celebrated chef Adam Handling, and a bar that serves very notable cocktails.

11 Cadogan Gardens

11 Cadogan Gardens

11 Cadogan Gardens, SW3 2RJ, London

Honestly, this boutique hotel is one of London’s best-kept secrets. It was built by Lord Chelsea in the late 19th Century and originally comprised four separate Victorian townhouses, explaining the labyrinthine layout. 11 Cadogan Gardens recently underwent major refurbishment but all of its 56 uniquely decorated bedrooms are still as opulent and quirky as ever. Han’s Bar & Grill promises to be a fabulous spot for dinner, the terrace is an idyllic place to enjoy an evening cocktail, and we can vouch for afternoon tea – it’s one of London’s best.

The Sloane Square Hotel

The Sloane Square Hotel

7–12 Sloane Square, SW1W 8EG, London

Right on Sloane Square and just moments from restaurants and bars including The Botanist, Colbert and Tonteria, and the Sloane Square London Underground, you couldn’t ask for a better location to explore Chelsea and beyond. There is luxury 300-thread count Egyptian cotton bed linen, the softest pillows and total black out curtains in all rooms, so you can count on a restful stay.

Blakes London

Blakes London

33 Roland Gardens, SW7 3PF, London

Arguably one of London’s sexiest hotels, and certainly one of the world’s best luxury boutique hotels, the Blakes building was designed in 1978 by Anouska Hempel and still beguiling guests and Londoners. There’s a gym and a beauty centre, a positively seductive bar downstairs, an intimate garden terrace and a restaurant beloved by locals and guests alike

WHERE TO EAT

The Running Track

The Running Track

Duke of York Square, SW3 4LY

The running track outside the Saatchi Gallery is temporarily open for socially distanced picnics, provisioned by delights from the Duke of York Square Fine Food Market (held on Saturdays), nearby Pavilion Road artisan food quarter, or local restaurants, many of which have introduced takeaway menus.

Harry's Dolce Vita

Harry’s Dolce Vita

27-31 Basil St, SW3 1BB, London

Make a reservation at Harry’s Dolce Vita and be transported to Italy’s La Dolce Vita period. Order a cocktail at the gorgeous bar (make it a Bellini; Harry’s is famous for them), then indulge in an unapologetically Italian menu of delights like Harry’s Taglioni, clad seductively with cream, black truffles and heaps of melted parmesan, or one of the visually arresting puddings.

Hans' Bar & Grill

Hans’ Bar & Grill

11 Cadogan Gardens, SW3 2RJ, London

Hans’ Bar & Grill is a brand-new addition to Pavilion Road, within the sumptuous 11 Cadogan Gardens Hotel. Inspired by namesake Hans Sloane, it’s everyday from 7am serving an all-day season menu by head chef Adam England in a stunning interior by Goddard Littlefair. England was inspired by the restaurant’s namesake, Sir Hans Sloane, who was credited with bringing cocoa to the U.K. – with chocolate desserts and signature hot chocolate drinks taking centre stage.

The Botanist
The Botanist

The Botanist

7 Sloane Square, SW1W 8EE, London

Having recently undergone a massive refurbishment, The Botanist is back on the agenda as one of the most stylish places to see and be seen in Chelsea. Flatteringly lit and decadently fitted out in decadent fabrics in delicate pastel shades, it’s the perfect spot for a post-shopping cocktail or weekend brunch.

Colbert (photo by @alleksana via Instagram)

Colbert

50-52 Sloane Square, SW1W 8AX, London

Inspired by the great boulevard cafés of Paris, you won’t find a better chicken liver parfait

or duck confit this side of the Bois du Boulogne. During the day, it’s a great spot for a long lunch or croissant and café, while dinner is a smarter affair, with all the charm of a proper French brasserie.

Sumosan Twiga

Sumosan Twiga

165 Sloane Street, SW1X 9QB, London

Japanese and Italian cuisines meet at Sumosan Twiga, bringing together the combined passions of former F1 boss Flavio Briatore and Sumosan founder Janina Wolkow at Sumosan Twiga. They have realised their shared vision of creating a uniquely glamorous destination that caters for every element of a night out, from pre-dinner cocktails all the way to late-night high-jinx at Twiga Late Night Lounge, the restaurant’s African-inspired club, it’s all under one sleek roof.

WHERE TO EXPLORE

Sumosan Twiga

Chelsea Physic Garden

66 Royal Hospital Rd, SW3 4HS

Soak up the sunshine within the grounds of the Chelsea Physic Garden, one of the most magical places in London. There is currently an hourly limit on the number of visitors allowed in the Garden, so be sure to pre-book your ticket to avoid disappointment. Inside, you’ll discover rare plants, flowers and trees, and after so many months under lockdown, it’s a joy to be surrounded by nature.

Medieval and Renaissance Galleries at the V&A Museum

Victoria & Albert Museum

66 Royal Hospital Rd, SW3 4HS

The museum is open again for you to discover the V&A’s incredible collections of art from around the world, with a staged reopening of galleries planned for the coming months. Among the galleries open initially are the Buddhist, China Rooms, Islamic Middle East, Medieval & Rennaisance and Korean galleries. The temporary exhibitions are currently closed but ‘Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk‘ is reopening on 27 August and tickets are available to pre-book now. Booking for ‘Bags: Inside Out‘, ‘Epic Iran and ‘Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser‘ will open soon.

entry is still free but you’ll now need to pre-book a timed ticket online.